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The Warehouse Arts District

You don’t have to spend much time in Lawrence to realize we embrace and support creativity in many different ways. We’re fortunate to have the dynamic Lawrence Arts Center offering many types of classes for all ages, and the arts-based social service program, Van Go, to foster creative pursuits in young people. In addition the free monthly arts festival, Final Fridays, allows artists to showcase their work throughout our town in many businesses and galleries. Lawrence has one of the highest percentages of working artists in the country per capita, and The Warehouse District has become the perfect area for those wanting space to create and display their works.

Located around 9th and Pennsylvania this section of town historically was filled with industrial and factory buildings, but has undergone an interesting transformation in recent years. It now houses art galleries, lofts, and the surrounding historic neighborhood. Recent preservation and development projects in this district have contributed to the revitalization of this small section of our community.

A highlight of the Warehouse Arts District is The Poehler Lofts, an old grocery warehouse that has been converted into a modern loft apartment building. A local favorite space within the Poehler Lofts is Cider Gallery, a gallery and event space featuring works by local artists.

The Kansas Food Truck Festival takes place in the Warehouse District, attracting thousands of foodies annually. The newest addition to the 1000 block of Delaware Street is the 9Dell Lofts, a newly constructed modern apartment complex with rent controlled units.

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. We are an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Before You Show Your Home

You’ve gotten your house in top shape and it’s listed for sale. When you get the call that someone would like to view your home, Stephens Real Estate has a few tips for making the visit a pleasant and memorable experience for the potential buyer.

A neat house is very important, and even with only a few minutes before prospective buyers arrive, you have time to straighten up a bit. Make sure beds are made, empty all garbage cans and take the garbage outside, put up your “show” towels and close all toilet seats. Grab a laundry basket – throw all of the clutter into it and put the basket into your car. And finally, wipe down countertops and sinks with a damp cloth.

Your house should smell fresh. You may want to bake a loaf of bread or a batch of cookies to add a wonderful and inviting scent. Open curtains and blinds. Make your house bright and cheery by letting the sunshine in - especially if you have a nice view. Doing so will create a happy, light-filled space which will make any room appear bigger and more desirable.

Turn on the lights. You want to let natural light fill your rooms, but also remember to turn on the lights throughout your home. Overhead lights, lamps and even lighting in closets and the laundry room will make it easier for the agent to show your home and no one will have to search for a light switch.

Make the temperature comfortable. You want people to feel comfortable and confident that the house’s systems are in good working order so turn on that air conditioner when it’s hot outside. Now is not the time to worry about the utility bill. Same goes during the winter months. Turn up the heat and turn on the fireplace to make the room feel cozy.

Always, always leave. After you’ve worked hard making your home sellable and memorable, please leave and let the Realtor® do his or her job. If you, your kids or your pets are there, potential buyers may feel uncomfortable. You don’t want them wishing their way out the door instead of enjoying looking at your home.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. Your Stephens agent can give you great advice on preparing your home for today’s market. If you’re interested in listing your home, call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Keys to a Successful Sale

The real estate market in Lawrence has been hot this year. It’s a great time to sell and if you’re ready to list your home, Stephens Real Estate has a few suggestions that may help you attract buyers.

De-clutter and minimize everywhere; not only rooms, but closets, cabinets, drawers and storage spaces as well. Get rid of junk and neatly arrange what’s left. Every buyer is looking for storage and can never have enough of it. Remove half the stuff from your closets then neatly organize the remaining contents. Keep everything, including your cabinets, clean and tidy ensuring that each space looks larger and more appealing. If space is a problem for you, rent a storage unit for excess items while your home is on the market.

Remove personal items. Some agents say get rid of all personal items. We don’t necessarily think everything has to go, but you do want your home to show well and attract serious offers. Put away personal items that detract from your home such as photos, toiletries, food, drinks, etc. - anything that makes the space seem cluttered. If you have family photos hung in a tasteful way on the wall, they don’t necessarily need to come down, but you should always be thoughtful about your decorating decisions and keep the buyer in mind.

Use a neutral palette. If you’ve decorated with unusual or bright colors in your home, it may be wise to tone things down both for the listing photos and for showings. When a house is decorated with neutral colors on the walls, floors, trim and cabinetry, potential buyers will not be distracted and can more easily envision their belongings fitting in. Of course, every situation and home is unique. Your Stephens agent can provide sound advice on this.

Decorate thoughtfully. Although everyone has different tastes in decor and furnishings, most people want a home that is welcoming, functional, peaceful and organized. Tailor your house so that buyers will describe it in those terms rather than by your style. Maximize the full potential of your home by arranging furniture to best showcase the floor plan and maximize the use of space.

It’s a great time to sell and we’re ready to help. Your Stephens agent can give you great advice on preparing your home for today’s market. If you’re interested in listing your home, contact Stephens Real Estate or Contact Us.

Outdoor Living Spaces Add Value

Warm weather has come to Lawrence, and for most of us that means we’ll be enjoying more time outdoors. If you’re a homeowner you have the opportunity to create outdoor living spaces to extend your home’s functionality and boost its value. Some homeowners want outdoor spaces with high-end furnishings and features. They want to enjoy music, television and movies outside. It’s not just grills or swimming pools that they dream of, but a true extension of their indoor living space. Other homeowners simply want a space to sit outside and read a book, have a cool drink on a hot evening or visit with family after a long day at work.

Whatever you want from your outdoor space and whether you have a small patio or an expansive backyard, you can achieve your goals. Here are several tips that can help you enhance your outdoor living area.

Add container gardens. Pots and plants come in a wide range of sizes, shapes and prices. They offer wonderful color and can help accessorize or define your space. Potted herbs are beautiful, aromatic and useful. Who wouldn’t love to snip a bit of fresh basil to use when making dinner?

Use a variety of seating options. A variety of benches, chairs and stools will ensure that you and your guests have plenty of seating to enjoy the space. Some options could include storage underneath to add functionality.

Add a fire source to make the space cozy. Whether you have a full fireplace or a portable fire pit, people will be drawn to it. It’s nice to sit outside on a cool evening and feel the warmth of a fire, and it’s enjoyable to toast marshmallows with your family and friends.

Use landscaping to add privacy. You may love your neighbors, but sometimes you prefer to spend time outside privately. Shrubs, dwarf trees, and containers with vines climbing up a trellis are great ways to shield your space.

Remember the lighting. The sun sets late during spring and summer months, but you still want a light source for your outdoor living. Candles can set the mood, and lights strung under a pergola brighten the area so your evening can continue well after sun-down.

Use your best judgement. No matter how elaborate the space may be, it costs money to create and maintain. Don’t overspend for your neighborhood if you want to recoup that money when you sell.

We’re ready to help! When you decide to buy or sell contact Stephens Real Estate or Contact Us.

Moving Day

You’re excited about moving out of your old place and into your new home, but there’s a lot to think about. Stephens Real Estate has a few tips to help your move go as smoothly as possible.

Only move what you want to keep. There’s no reason to move boxes that haven’t been opened since your last move. Sort items into 3 piles: keep it, donate it, trash it, and then get rid of the clutter. You’ll thank yourself when it’s time to unpack at the new place.

Label everything. Use a marker and write on every side of the box or use the “Moving Day” free app for iPhones, to help you print bar-coded labels and keep inventory sheets. You will know what’s inside each box and in which room it belongs.

It takes teamwork. When people offer to help, whether it’s dropping off a pizza for dinner or helping move furniture, accept. Be ready when they arrive. Have blank inventory sheets so you can divide and conquer. One person can handle each area or room.

Have the right supplies. You will need permanent markers, pens, tape, labels, inventory sheets and scissors. Have sturdy boxes in different sizes. Moving companies usually sell boxes and packing materials and offer refunds for unused supplies. Remember to have water, food and snacks available for moving day.

Be creative. For extra padding, pack your glasses and stemware in clean socks. Pack your plates with foam disposable plates between them. Take a photo of how your electronics are connected so you can remember how and where all the wires go.

Pack a moving day kit with essentials that you will need for moving day: cleaning supplies, light bulbs, toilet paper, garbage bags, toiletries, and a change of clothes for each member of the family.

Protect your valuables. Find a safe place to store your valuables on moving day. Insure anything that is valuable or breakable. Backup important files and photographs stored on your computer just in case something happens in transit.

Be ready for your first night in your new home. Only unpack what you will need immediately. Ask your new neighbors for restaurant recommendations. If you have kids or pets, try to get them set up and establish their regular routines right away. Then take a break and re-energize. The boxes will be there tomorrow.

There are lots of details to consider when moving. The Stephens Pinterest page has great ideas, including a pin with 10 apps for your smartphone or tablet. Visit pinterest.com/stephensreks, and look for our Packing and Moving board.

Improve Your Home’s Curb Appeal

You’ve heard it before: You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This steadfast advice isn’t just for interviews and first dates; it’s also applicable to your home. That’s why experts from home builders to real estate agents sing the praises of stellar curb appeal. Your Stephens agent will be happy to give you tips on how to put your home’s best foot forward. Here are some good ways to increase your home’s curb appeal:

Shake up shutters. Don’t be tempted to ignore your shutters. They provide a great opportunity to add a splash of color to your home’s exterior without going overboard. Pull shutters down and clean them up with soap and water before adding a fresh coat of paint. Make sure to get enough paint so you can freshen your front door in the matching color as well for a coordinating look that can enhance curb appeal.

Pretty the patio. Front patios should be inviting and complement the entryway. For dated and dirty concrete slabs, special paint can instantly provide an eye-catching focal point that looks like new. Old or rotting wood surfaces may be replaced with composite deck boards like Evergrain Composite Decking. This compression-molded product creates the look of wood without painting or staining. Add extra touches that warm the area. The addition of a wicker chair, a few potted plants and a new welcome mat can make a world of difference in boosting curb appeal.

Love the landscaping. Overgrown plants, messy mulch and low-hanging tree branches can kill curb appeal fast. Take a look at your home from the street and notice whether plants and flower beds need attention. Keep bushes and trees neatly trimmed, deadhead flowers and pull plants that are past season to increase curb appeal. Finally, add a fresh layer of mulch to cut down on weeds and provide a fresh look.

Revamp the roof. If a dingy old roof is killing your curb appeal, a style and color upgrade can breathe new life into your home’s facade. The first step is to evaluate roofing options for style consistency with your home’s existing siding. For a traditional look, try a shingle with colors and tones that mimic what’s found in nature, such as TAMKO’s Heritage line. Some styles are manufactured to resemble wood shake for a classic upscale look at a lower cost. (BPT)

We’re ready to help you buy or sell your home. Call us or contact us.

North Lawrence

North Lawrence House

North Lawrence is one of the most well-known, but sometimes least understood, areas of Lawrence. Situated on the north bank of the Kansas River just across from Downtown, this area is as old as Lawrence itself.

Development started around 1860, with several businesses including a store, a post office and even a ferry before the bridge was built. Eventually this community became known as Jefferson Township, but was annexed and renamed North Lawrence in 1870.

This part of town may feel a bit like a different city, with narrow streets that seem pulled from the countryside and trains that roll through like clockwork. North Lawrence definitely has its own distinctive character and is a dynamic area within the city of Lawrence.

Primarily a residential area, it’s also home to several local businesses that have been here for ages such as Johnny’s Tavern, a local favorite bar and restaurant. And the Lawrence Visitors Information Center is located in the historic Union Pacific Train Depot at 402 N. 2nd.

Many of the homes in North Lawrence were built prior to the 1960’s, but near the river levee there are several unique homes built very recently and not to be found anywhere else in town. These homes are modern and contemporary, eco-friendly, efficient, and conscious of their surroundings. The homes that have been here for years have been taken care of by residents, many of whom have lived here their whole lives and show great pride in their corner of Lawrence.

Stephens Real Estate is ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Deerfield

deerfield area house

The Deerfield neighborhood is the area surrounding the elementary school of the same name. Located between Kasold and North Iowa, and from 6th Street north, the neighborhood seems to be tucked into the bluffs that look out toward the Kansas River. Neighborhood streets wind through hills with beautiful, mature trees and established gardens, and you will often see pedestrians walking along the sidewalks or bikers riding down the bike paths.

Deerfield Elementary is a hub of the neighborhood and sits next to Deerfield Park. This area has nice green space where young soccer or softball teams sometimes practice, and the school’s playground area is often utilized by the neighborhood when school is not in session.

Lawrence Country Club sits among the hills of Deerfield, and has been enjoyed by members since 1914, claiming coaching legend and inventor of basketball James Naismith as one of its founding members. Many of the homes in the area have a nice view of the lovely golf course.

This neighborhood is conveniently located with grocery stores, eateries and a variety of retail establishments nearby. You can gain quick access to I-70 for your commute to Topeka or Kansas City, and with 6th Street at its border, it’s easy to make a quick trip downtown or to the far west side of town.

There are a variety of homes to be found here from the majestic homes bordering the Lawrence Country Club to the cute and cozy 1960’s ranchers and bi-levels to the west.

Stephens Real Estate is ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Downtown Lawrence

What can be said about Downtown Lawrence that hasn’t already been written and told in dozens of travel blogs, websites, and word-of-mouth recommendations? Our town has been included in numerous best-of lists, recently being named as one of the “Most Interesting Destinations in the US” by Expedia.com. And College Ranker provided advice to those looking to move to a college town by naming Lawrence one of the “50 Best College Towns to Live in Forever.” That’s a ringing endorsement!

Downtown Lawrence is the heart of our city and a one-of-a-kind destination. It’s a pedestrian-friendly area offering plenty of diversity and variety. From Mass Street - the main thoroughfare - and beyond there are plenty of fantastic local restaurants and coffee shops, unique retail shops and art stores.

Frequent festivals and events such as the Free State Festival, the Busker Festival, the Side-Walk Sale, Final Fridays, the St. Patrick’s Day Parade, the Farmer’s Market, and many outdoor concerts and movies take place downtown. South Park, Watson Park, Burcham Park, the Lawrence Pool, and the renovated Lawrence Public Library are among a long list of destinations. All of these things along with the vibrant nightlife guarantee that there is something here for kids ages 1 to 101. Downtown Lawrence is the vibrant hub of the city and an exciting cultural focal point for the Midwest.

Housing types available: multi-family, condos, single-family (East Lawrence neighborhood). Housing features available: maintenance free, open floor plans, updated finishes, off street parking, historic single-family homes, affordable housing.

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. We are an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Locust Street Marketplace

Drive north across the bridge over the Kansas River, take a quick right on Locust Street, drive a few blocks to 7th and you will discover a charming little shopping district in North Lawrence known as the Locust Street Marketplace. It’s off the beaten path and many people find out about it by word of mouth from others who have been pleasantly surprised by their experiences there.

The Locust Street Marketplace has shops with unique home décor, antiques, re-purposed furnishings, charming accessories and perhaps even vintage clothing. The store-fronts are picturesque and inviting, welcoming you inside for some leisurely browsing.

There are several restaurants and coffee houses nearby to complete your outing, and we recommend taking a camera - the photo opps are plentiful. The shops aren’t open every day; some of them only on Friday and Saturday, so you will want to plan ahead. Another helpful tip: the merchandise sells quickly so when you see something you like, don’t take too long to make your decision (similar to the real estate market in Lawrence right now).

Enjoy your Saturday paper and then take a drive across the bridge to Locust Street.

Stephens Real Estate is locally owned and proud of the great town in which we live. We are an independent, full service company linked to Lawrence through roots that run decades deep. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785.841.4500 or Contact Us.

East Lawrence

The historic East Lawrence neighborhood, or “ELNA” pronounced “EL-NAH,” contains some of the most active community members and the highest concentration of artists in the city of Lawrence, KS. Comprised of homes and businesses east of Massachusetts Street, the sense of community and identity here is as distinct in our town as our town is in the state of Kansas.

There is a wide variety of homes to be found in East Lawrence, from those nearly as old as the town itself to homes with modern, forward-thinking designs that appear to be pulled from the pages of Dwell Magazine. With Downtown nearby and quick access to numerous trails and bike paths, the neighborhood is tucked into a convenient and beautiful part of our beautiful town.

While it is one of the older areas of the city, it is not without recent changes. The old warehouses at 9th and Pennsylvania have been turned into the Warehouse Arts District, and along New Hampshire Street brand new mid-rise condos are developing. If you want an opportunity to find an urban oasis in Lawrence, East Lawrence is where you will find a home.

Housing types available in ELNA: single family, multi-family, apartments, condos, single floor living, rental units, historic homes, new construction. Housing features available: high walkability, complete street, friendly neighbors, lower average home price.

Stephens Real Estate is ready to help you find your perfect home in your perfect neighborhood. Our agents know the Lawrence market, and they have the experience and the connections to help you find the home that’s right for you. Call us at 785-841-4500 or Contact Us.

Stephens Real Estate, Inc.
2701 W. Sixth Street
Lawrence, KS 66049

Phone: 785-841-4500
Toll-Free: 1-800-875-4315